The true story behind multi-hyphenate Tyler Perry’s rise to fame is at the center of documentary “Maxine’s Baby: The Tyler Perry Story,” which is set to make its world premiere at the 2023 AFI Fest.
The Amazon Studios and Bekele Films documentary will be the centerpiece screening at this year’s AFI Fest, taking place October 25 through 29 in Los Angeles. “Maxine’s Baby” will screen Friday, October 27 at the TCL Chinese Theatre in Los Angeles.
Gelila Bekele and Armani Ortiz direct the film, which takes audiences into the inner world of Tyler Perry, whose story has never fully been told. Perry is billed as a father and a media mogul with a mission to pave his own road to the top. “The film is a profound lesson on remembering where you came from to know where you want to go,” the description states.
AFI President and CEO Bob Gazzale teased the documentary ahead of the AFI Fest premiere.
“Tyler Perry is a creative force of nature – a multi-hyphenate who forged his own path to seismic impact in the world of storytelling while also inspiring the next generation to follow in his footsteps,” Gazzale said. “‘Maxine’s Baby’ is an epic celebration of a modern maverick, and it is AFI’s honor to shine a proper light upon Mr. Perry and the film at AFI FEST.”
The film’s co-directors Bekele and Ortiz added, “We are honored to premiere ‘Maxine’s Baby’ at AFI Fest. Working on this film for the past decade has been a life-changing journey for the both of us. Getting intimately acquainted with the man behind the icon while witnessing the transformative impact of Mr. Perry’s work within various communities has been truly awe-inspiring. We hope this film is more than a road to success story, but rather, a meditation on healing, unconditional love, and an inspiration to audiences.”
Perry currently has a four-picture film deal to write, direct, and produce movies for Amazon Studios. He recently helmed Netflix melodrama “A Jazzman’s Blues” which was decades in the making.
This year’s AFI Fest is set to open with the world premiere of Sam Esmail’s “Leave the World Behind” starring Ethan Hawke, Julia Roberts, Mahershala Ali, Myha’la Herrold, and Kevin Bacon. The drama is based on Rumaan Alam’s 2020 novel about an Airbnb vacation turned apocalyptic for two families.
The 2023 AFI Fest will close with Bradley Cooper’s “Maestro,” following the film’s debut at Venice and its North American premiere at NYFF.